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Wild Kamchatka with the Kuril Islands

Search for the region's prolific wildlife on Zodiac cruises and naturalist-guided walks.

Please note: Airfare from Petropavlovsk to Seoul is not included in your voyage rates.

20 May, 2020 to 04 June, 2020 Make a booking request for Wild Kamchatka with the Kuril Islands, departing on 20 May, 2020

Prices quoted here are often dependent on currency fluctuations. Please check with (01432 507450 or info@small-cruise-ships.com) for the very latest price, which may well be cheaper than the one advertised here.

Category 1 £ 11534 GBP pp
Standard Suite - 244 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and portholes; bed can be configured as two twins or one double
view cabin photo
Category 2 £ 12304 GBP pp
Superior Suite - 232 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and large window; bed can be configured as two twins or one double
view cabin photo
Category 3 £ 12997 GBP pp
Premium Suite - 217 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area, bathroom, and large window; bed can be configured as two twins or one double
view cabin photo
Category 4 £ 14460 GBP pp
Premium Deck Suite - 217 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one double
view cabin photo
Category 1 Special Single Rate (Limited) £ 14537 GBP pp
Category 2 Special Single Rate (Limited) £ 15384 GBP pp
Category 5 £ 16539 GBP pp
Corner Deck Suite - 243 sq feet, ocean-view cabin with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one doubl
view cabin photo
Category 4 Special Single Rate (Limited) £ 18079 GBP pp
Category 6 £ 18464 GBP pp
Deluxe Balcony Suite - 217 sq feet plus 60 sq feet balcony, ocean-view with sitting area and bathroom; bed can be configured as two twins or one double.
view cabin photo

Wild Kamchatka with the Kuril Islands itinerary:

show reverse itinerary
Days 1 - 2 Sapporo
Arrive in Sapporo and check in to our hotel. In the evening gather for a welcome dinner and briefing.
Day 3 Sapporo / Otaru / Embark Caledonian Sky
Following breakfast, join a tour of Sapporo's highlights. Hokkaido is Japan's northernmost island and during late May, flowers and trees should be bursting into bloom. Pass by historic buildings such as the city's symbolic Clock Tower, the university, the charming red-brick Old Prefectural Office, and several 1972 Winter Olympics sites. After lunch, transfer to the port of Otaru to embark the Caledonian Sky.
Day 4 Teuri Island / Rishiri Island
Cruise past tiny Teuri Island at dawn where early risers may train their binoculars on one of the largest colonies of rhinoceros auklets in Asia. Watch as the birds leave the rocky cliffs en masse to feed in the productive surrounding waters. Continue north to the classical cone-shaped volcano of Rishiri Island. Make a stop to stroll or hike in the magnificent conifer forests of Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park. A stop at the municipal museum unveils local history and artifacts dating back over 1,000 years.
Day 5 Korsakov, Sakhalin Island, Russia / Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Today, visit Sakhalin Island's capital, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Founded as a small Russian settlement in the 1880s, the city became a Japanese prefect capital when the southern half of the island was declared a Japanese colony in 1905; after WWII it was returned to Russia. Highlights of your exploration include a visit to the Russian Orthodox church, the Regional Museum, housed in an impressive former Japanese mansion, and the bustling market. Enjoy a performance of traditional Cossack song and dance from a group dressed in colorful costumes. Alternatively, join your ornithologist for a day of birding in the southern part of the island. Watch for Latham's snipes, Eurasian bullfinches, white-tailed sea eagles, Siberian thrushes, and Swinhoe’s robin.
Day 6 Tyuleniy Island
Tyuleniy means seal in Russian, and you will immediately understand how the island earned this moniker. Hundreds of northern fur seals and Steller sea lions cover the beaches—watch bulls defending their harems, males sparring, and pups cavorting in the water. Birds fill whatever space the seals and sea lions leave unclaimed. Thousands of common murres and kittiwakes cover the cliffs and fly overhead. Other bird species include crested auklets, Siberian rubythroats, and Pallas's warblers, with possible sightings of red-necked stints and narcissus flycatchers.
Day 7 Broutona Island, Kuril Islands / Chirpoy Island
The Kuril Islands form an archipelago of 56 large and small islands, nearly equal to the Hawaiian Islands in landmass, stretching some 700 nautical miles between Kamchatka and Japan. Young in geological years, the Kurils are still bursting forth with volcanic action, with 40 active volcanoes. Take a Zodiac cruise past the sheer cliffs of uninhabited Broutona Island, keeping an eye out for the northern fulmars and fork-tailed storm petrels that nest here. Continue to the dramatic headlands of Chirpoy Island, also home to thousands of breeding seabirds. While black-legged kittiwakes and thick-billed murres are among the more numerous species, you may also find red-faced and pelagic cormorants.
Day 8 Simushir Islands / Yankicha Island
Shimushir’s spectacular geology features a string of extinct volcanoes, well-wooded slopes, and a flooded crater at its northern tip. The crater’s narrow pass opens into a nearly hidden bay that was home to a secret Russian military base from 1978 to 1991. Nearly 2,000 occupants inhabited the keyhole harbor, where Russian submarines were based. Spend a fascinating morning wandering among the abandoned buildings and other relics of this former military base. Located in the flooded caldera of Yankicha are fumaroles and hot springs, hinting at the tremendous forces that created the island long ago. Nature walks may reveal Arctic foxes, Arctic warblers, and Middendorff’s grasshopper warblers
Day 9 Srednego Islands
Often enshrouded in fog, the rugged columnar stacks of the Srednego Islands are home to thousands of nesting seabirds. Here you’ll find northern fulmars, guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, and whiskered auklets, as well as large populations of Steller sea lions and northern fur seals.
Day 10 Lovyshki Islands
Unlike their volcanic neighbors, the Lovyshik Islands are small, rocky islets that offer the perfect resting place for thousands upon thousands of northern fur seals. Crested auklets are also a possibility here.
Day 11 Onekotan Island
Beautiful Onekotan Island boasts an impressive 4,000-foot-high volcano with a deep, almost perfectly circular crater lake at its center. Small streams and waterfalls tumble down the hillsides to the beach, while lush tundra slopes are the habitat for red foxes and myriad bird species, such as the red-throated pipit. Scan the rugged and rocky ledges for seabirds while taking a shoreside walk with our naturalist. The area was once inhabited by the Ainu, and you may have the chance to investigate ruins of their former dwellings.
Day 12 Atlasova Island
This afternoon, as you cruise through the First Kuril Strait, watch for the Steller’s sea eagles that frequent the area. Past voyages have also found hundreds of sea otters frolicking in this strait—a heartening rejuvenation after a brush with near-extinction. Step ashore on Atlasova Island, dominated by the towering 7,600-foot-high Alaid Volcano. Stroll along the black sand beaches to observe the island’s fascinating geology or take a hike inland over tundra bursting with wildflowers.
Day 13 Russkaya Bay
Reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord, the craggy shores of the bay served as a natural shelter for ships in the past. The imposing inland mountains and volcanoes add to the dramatic impact of this spectacular bay, where you will find seabirds such as horned and tufted puffins, cormorants, kittiwakes, and auklets, as well as a wealth of marine mammals.
Day 14 Zhupanova River
Board Zodiacs to negotiate the shallow and meandering Zhupanova River, with superb opportunities for both birding and nature walks. Heading upstream, we are likely to spot up to 40 species of birds, including such special Siberian species as the yellow-billed loon, yellow-breasted bunting, common greenshank, and Far Eastern curlew. Heading downriver, scan the skies for the magnificent Steller’s sea eagle.
Days 15 - 16 Petropavlovsk / Disembark / Seoul, South Korea
After breakfast on board, disembark the Caledonian Sky and transfer to the airport for our charter flight to Seoul. Check in to the Grand Hyatt Incheon for dinner and overnight. Board your independent homeward flight the next day.
Please Note:
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.

Wild Kamchatka with the Kuril Islands reverse itinerary:

show main itinerary
Based on the expeditionary nature of our trips, there may be ongoing enhancements to this itinerary.
After breakfast on board, disembark the Caledonian Sky and transfer to the airport for our charter flight to Seoul. Check in to the Grand Hyatt Incheon for dinner and overnight. Board your independent homeward flight the next day.
Board Zodiacs to negotiate the shallow and meandering Zhupanova River, with superb opportunities for both birding and nature walks. Heading upstream, we are likely to spot up to 40 species of birds, including such special Siberian species as the yellow-billed loon, yellow-breasted bunting, common greenshank, and Far Eastern curlew. Heading downriver, scan the skies for the magnificent Steller’s sea eagle.
Reminiscent of a Norwegian fjord, the craggy shores of the bay served as a natural shelter for ships in the past. The imposing inland mountains and volcanoes add to the dramatic impact of this spectacular bay, where you will find seabirds such as horned and tufted puffins, cormorants, kittiwakes, and auklets, as well as a wealth of marine mammals.
This afternoon, as you cruise through the First Kuril Strait, watch for the Steller’s sea eagles that frequent the area. Past voyages have also found hundreds of sea otters frolicking in this strait—a heartening rejuvenation after a brush with near-extinction. Step ashore on Atlasova Island, dominated by the towering 7,600-foot-high Alaid Volcano. Stroll along the black sand beaches to observe the island’s fascinating geology or take a hike inland over tundra bursting with wildflowers.
Beautiful Onekotan Island boasts an impressive 4,000-foot-high volcano with a deep, almost perfectly circular crater lake at its center. Small streams and waterfalls tumble down the hillsides to the beach, while lush tundra slopes are the habitat for red foxes and myriad bird species, such as the red-throated pipit. Scan the rugged and rocky ledges for seabirds while taking a shoreside walk with our naturalist. The area was once inhabited by the Ainu, and you may have the chance to investigate ruins of their former dwellings.
Unlike their volcanic neighbors, the Lovyshik Islands are small, rocky islets that offer the perfect resting place for thousands upon thousands of northern fur seals. Crested auklets are also a possibility here.
Often enshrouded in fog, the rugged columnar stacks of the Srednego Islands are home to thousands of nesting seabirds. Here you’ll find northern fulmars, guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, and whiskered auklets, as well as large populations of Steller sea lions and northern fur seals.
Shimushir’s spectacular geology features a string of extinct volcanoes, well-wooded slopes, and a flooded crater at its northern tip. The crater’s narrow pass opens into a nearly hidden bay that was home to a secret Russian military base from 1978 to 1991. Nearly 2,000 occupants inhabited the keyhole harbor, where Russian submarines were based. Spend a fascinating morning wandering among the abandoned buildings and other relics of this former military base. Located in the flooded caldera of Yankicha are fumaroles and hot springs, hinting at the tremendous forces that created the island long ago. Nature walks may reveal Arctic foxes, Arctic warblers, and Middendorff’s grasshopper warblers
The Kuril Islands form an archipelago of 56 large and small islands, nearly equal to the Hawaiian Islands in landmass, stretching some 700 nautical miles between Kamchatka and Japan. Young in geological years, the Kurils are still bursting forth with volcanic action, with 40 active volcanoes. Take a Zodiac cruise past the sheer cliffs of uninhabited Broutona Island, keeping an eye out for the northern fulmars and fork-tailed storm petrels that nest here. Continue to the dramatic headlands of Chirpoy Island, also home to thousands of breeding seabirds. While black-legged kittiwakes and thick-billed murres are among the more numerous species, you may also find red-faced and pelagic cormorants.
Tyuleniy means seal in Russian, and you will immediately understand how the island earned this moniker. Hundreds of northern fur seals and Steller sea lions cover the beaches—watch bulls defending their harems, males sparring, and pups cavorting in the water. Birds fill whatever space the seals and sea lions leave unclaimed. Thousands of common murres and kittiwakes cover the cliffs and fly overhead. Other bird species include crested auklets, Siberian rubythroats, and Pallas's warblers, with possible sightings of red-necked stints and narcissus flycatchers.
Today, visit Sakhalin Island's capital, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. Founded as a small Russian settlement in the 1880s, the city became a Japanese prefect capital when the southern half of the island was declared a Japanese colony in 1905; after WWII it was returned to Russia. Highlights of your exploration include a visit to the Russian Orthodox church, the Regional Museum, housed in an impressive former Japanese mansion, and the bustling market. Enjoy a performance of traditional Cossack song and dance from a group dressed in colorful costumes. Alternatively, join your ornithologist for a day of birding in the southern part of the island. Watch for Latham's snipes, Eurasian bullfinches, white-tailed sea eagles, Siberian thrushes, and Swinhoe’s robin.
Cruise past tiny Teuri Island at dawn where early risers may train their binoculars on one of the largest colonies of rhinoceros auklets in Asia. Watch as the birds leave the rocky cliffs en masse to feed in the productive surrounding waters. Continue north to the classical cone-shaped volcano of Rishiri Island. Make a stop to stroll or hike in the magnificent conifer forests of Rishiri-Rebun-Sarobetsu National Park. A stop at the municipal museum unveils local history and artifacts dating back over 1,000 years.
Following breakfast, join a tour of Sapporo's highlights. Hokkaido is Japan's northernmost island and during late May, flowers and trees should be bursting into bloom. Pass by historic buildings such as the city's symbolic Clock Tower, the university, the charming red-brick Old Prefectural Office, and several 1972 Winter Olympics sites. After lunch, transfer to the port of Otaru to embark the Caledonian Sky.
Arrive in Sapporo and check in to our hotel. In the evening gather for a welcome dinner and briefing.
* = Indicative
Map for Wild Kamchatka with the Kuril Islands
Caledonian Sky, the ship servicing Wild Kamchatka with the Kuril Islands

Caledonian Sky

Vessel Type: Luxury Expedition

Length: 90 metres

Passenger Capacity: 114 (in 57 suites)

Built: 1991 / refurbished 2012

The MS Caledonian Sky accommodates a maximum of 114 passengers in 57 spacious outside suites. Many have walk-in wardrobes and some feature tub baths. There will be seven categories of suites and sixteen suites will have private balconies. For those familiar with the MS Island Sky she will feel like a second home, although there are some differences. The dining room, lounge, Lido Deck and bar are all similar. However, the ‘Club’ on the MS Caledonian Sky has been transported to the very top deck. Here, there is a library and bar which leads out on to a lovely forward deck. The ‘Club’ has wonderful views with ceiling to floor windows.

If you like the MS Island Sky, we are sure you will also approve of her sister. And, of course it is important that we offer the very best of facilities. However, equally as important are the staff on board whether they are the vessel’s crew or our own expedition staff. Noble Caledonia’s reputation has been built on providing the very best in all areas. Their crew of 74 not only offer an excellent service they are also noted for their kindness and attention to detail. A well run ship with a warm atmosphere is what we are known for, and it is because most of our crew have been with us for many years that we are able to engender such an atmosphere.

Your Suite
Onboard there are 57 exceptionally spacious and well designed suites. The passenger accommodation is arranged over four decks and all suites have outside views. All feature a sitting room area and some have private balconies. Each affords considerable comfort with en-suite bathroom featuring a country style wash basin, hot towel rack and vanity unit with sink and walk-in shower and/or bath tub.

Facilities in the suites also include walk-in or spacious wardrobes, dressing table with large mirror and stool or desk, mini-fridge, flat screen television, telephone, programmable electronic safe, hairdryer, assorted toiletries, air-conditioning and heating. Bottled water, towelling dressing gowns and slippers are also provided for your comfort.

Your space
The spacious and finely decorated public rooms include a large lounge where daily briefings and talks will be provided throughout the voyage and an elegant bar where a pianist plays periodically throughout the day. The bar also features a 24-hour tea and coffee station. In addition there is the Club Lounge on the Panoramic Deck which features a bar. The onboard travel library is the perfect place to relax with a book and is stocked with reference books pertaining to the places the vessel is visiting along with a selection of games and two computers with internet access. Daily newspapers and magazines are also placed in the library depending on local availability. Outside there is a rear Lido deck where meals are served in warm weather under shade. On the top deck there is a further observation and sun deck with bar service and comfortable deck furniture for sun bathing or relaxing with a book. There is also a small gymnasium onboard and hairdressers with appointments made on request.

Your dining
With only one sitting and a maximum of just over 100 passengers, the quality of cuisine will be of a consistent superior quality. Where possible and when it meets his high standards, our accomplished chef will obtain local produce in markets or buy the catch of the day from a passing fishing boat. Such purchases enhance the well stocked larders and bring a local touch to the varied menus. In the main elegant dining room, breakfast is served buffet-style, with certain items cooked to order and lunch and dinner is à la carte. When weather permits, breakfast, a buffet-style lunch and dinner are also served on deck. To enhance your dining experience even further a selection of wines are included with lunch and dinner. Afternoon tea is served in the lounge and tea and coffee are available 24 hours. With sufficient notice, most diets can be catered for on board.

For your comfort, safety and security
The vessel is equipped with the latest safety, navigation and communications equipment along with roll stabilisers to minimise the ship’s motion. The Captain and officers operate an open-bridge policy that allows passengers onto the bridge at most times with the exception of arrival and departure from port and during times of complicated navigation. Here you can check the ship’s progress by charts and learn more from the officers about your journey. There is also a dedicated channel on your television in your suite showing the routing of the vessel along with technical information and estimated times of arrival and departure from port. On board you will also find a clinic and doctor and a lift that serves all decks. Smoking on board is restricted to outside decks only.

Gratuities
Unlike many other cruise vessels, onboard the MS Caledonian Sky you do not need to worry about tipping staff as we have included them in your holiday price. In addition we tip all their guides and drivers along the way, thereby taking away the hassle of always having to remember to have some small change with you.

Cabin layout for Caledonian Sky
• Witness huge concentrations of seabirds in a frenzy of breeding activity—northern fulmars, horned and tufted puffins, guillemots, black-legged kittiwakes, and more.

• Cruise by Zodiac along rocky islets and uninhabited shores to search for the area's prolific marine and wildlife—including bears, Arctic foxes, seals, and whales.

• Photograph a variety of stunning scenery, from snowcapped volcanoes to wildflower-studded tundra.

• Enjoy a performance of traditional Russian songs and dances in Sakhalin Island's capital, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk.
Enquire now about Wild Kamchatka with the Kuril Islands

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